Thousands of people each year participate in an activity that is designed to help their loved ones to face their alcohol or drug addiction. Most families feel hopeless with a child, parent, nephew, spouse, partner, or co-worker who appears to refuse to change their behaviors and creating chaos at home, work and in their relationships.
An intervention (made famous by A&E’s television reality show with the same name) is a professional attempt to empower an addict’s loved ones. The process is summarized with four stages:
1) Contacting an interventionist
2) Pre-Intervention – meeting with the family or loved ones to find out what may be needed for the alcoholic or addict. Discuss any resentments, using patterns of people in the room, what people are willing to say to get the addict help. Develop scripts and “bottom lines.”
3) The Intervention – meeting with the family and the addict. Typically, the family will present their scripts and bottom lines. (Bottom lines are loving ultimatums that present the addict with consequences for not agreeing to treatment).
4) Post-Intervention – escorting the addict to treatment and follow-up. Most alcoholics and addicts are fearful and the fear often manifests itself as anger, blame, discontent, hate, etc. when actually they are afraid of what their life would look like without the substance, which they are addicted.